My oldest son,Jadyn, has a ball and little bat and I just lob the ball up to him. He isn'teven two yet--he'll turn two on August 17--so he pretty much misses every time.But he still likes it when I pitch it to him. My other son, Haven, was born inMarch. I do diaper duty with him when I'm home. Jadyn knows I play baseball,and anytime baseball is on the TV, he wants to sit with me and watch.
On his reputationas a player
I am known mostlyas a home run hitter, and I am O.K. with that. Whatever anybody wants to see meas is fine. There are other parts of my game, but I can't make people noticethose things. I can't do anything about it, so I can only play hard and hopethey notice the defense and some of the other things.
On the first homerun he ever hit
I was 10, in aleague where the coaches pitch. I hit it pretty far to rightfield, but I didn'tsee it. It was the first time I'd played on a field with a fence, so as soon asI hit it I was running hard. When I got to second, the shortstop said, "Youhit a homer." He high-fived me, and I got high fives all the way home.
I'm not much of acook. If I do cook, I like to put something on my Foreman grill. It's quick andeasy. I like it better when my wife cooks. She makes a great chickenparmesan.
On hisrelationship with his dad, ex-major leaguer Cecil Fielder
We're not thatclose. We are totally different. We both laugh a lot, but other than that weare totally different. He is more laid-back. On the field, I am really moreintense. He could joke around on the field, but I am all serious.
On slugger CarlosLee, traded by Milwaukee last week
I'll miss him. Hetook me under his wing and showed me how to be a run producer. With runners inscoring position, he told me what to look for and what mind-set to have. Hesaid you want to be "the guy" in those situations. [And] when theywould walk him and bring in a lefty to face me, he would pump me up and say,"You've got to get them." I hung out with him a lot, went out to eatwith him. He's a good friend.
I was in the room,and I was panicking a little. The doctor or nurse would come over [to his wife,Chanel] and check on her blood pressure, and I'd be saying "What? What?Why?" Then the baby came and everything was O.K., and I calmed down. Ithink we're done having kids. I got my two boys, and they are close in age andare going to be tight, going to look after each other. That's enough forme.
THE 6-FOOT,260-POUND FIELDER LED ROOKIES WITH 19 HOMERS AND HAD 54 RBIS THROUGH SUNDAY
Photograph by Thomas E. Witte
CHUCK SOLOMON (FIELDER ACTION)